Greetings to the faculty of social sciences forum. I appreciate your kind words on the occasion of my exit from Unilag. Not really a pleasant moment, no smiles as such. When I came on board, and that was over four decades ago, I met a virile system with less visible decay and not so loud lamentations. I might have inadvertently and ignorantly contributed to the tragedy that had befallen the system. This is regretted.
At my exit point, salaries had become severely eroded by hyper inflation, and had become uncertain, rapacious money culture had crept in, governance within town and gown had collapsed, vice chancellors had become audacious and vicious, expert opinions do not matter any longer in government circles. Governance is by voodoo, rituals and commonsense. Guidance by science has diminished in all fronts Teaching has become an ordeal. The lesson of the past eight months or so is, ‘forget about the idea of universities, their residents and research work. The poor needn’t trespass on university campuses. Children of the rich and the powerful have private and foreign universities preserved for them. Society can function without the irritation and nuisance of campus deviance. What a good riddance’. Paradoxically, a few universities and their residents still display rebellious but, yet encouraging signals in resilience and competitiveness. I salute you all. You made me a better being. But still take time to look through the university windows just in case you need to jump out if nobody cares to put out the fire that government had set on our campuses. I hope I ‘ m scampering to some safety of a sort. You never can tell.
Prof. Lai Olurode
Faculty of Social Sciences,
University of Lagos